David Edgar has revealed how being embarrassed in front of their own supporters proved the catalyst for Sheffield United’s upturn in form.
Nigel Adkins’ side enter today’s League One encounter against Peterborough searching for a fifth straight win in all competitions and knowing victory could see them regain a top six place.
Less than two months ago, the mood music surrounding Bramall Lane was much more downbeat when Shrewsbury Town, then languishing 20th in the table, inflicted a shock 4-2 defeat on the pre-season title favourites.
“That Tuesday against Shrewsbury was a bad one,” Edgar said. “It is hard to get much lower than that. “Things had to change. It was a difficult time for everyone at the club. I was injured at the time but still at the game and still part of the group.
“We came through it and galvanised ourselves. The manager made a few tweaks, that got us going again, and the results have been decent. It was a confidence thing, as much as anything.
“The boys who have the shirts at the minute know there is great competition behind us so everyone has to play well or you could be out of the team. It is a good group.”
Edgar, on loan from Birmingham City, is an integral part of a back four which conceded its first goal since November’s draw at Barnsley during Monday’s triumph over Yorkshire rivals Bradford City. Adkins, who took charge in June, has acknowledged his decision to curb some of United’s attacking instincts in recent weeks was a direct response to that result against Shrewsbury. But, as Edgar explained, there has been a change in attitude as well as approach.
“We pride ourselves on our defence. We were 3-0 up with ten minutes to go but screaming at each other not to concede. We wanted to rip each other’s heads off when that goal went in. In a nice way, of course!
“You can only ask for that and it comes with working hard on the training ground. We are all pulling in the same direction.”
Edgar, a Canada international, embarked upon the third loan spell of his career after being allowed to leave Birmingham City, albeit on a temporary basis, in August. Having finished last season on loan at Huddersfield Town, the 28-year-old credits Adkins’ back-to-basics approach with his own improved form.
“A Huddersfield, it could be tough,” Edgar said. “I played every game at Birmingham until the new manager came in. Luckily, he let me go to Huddersfield. But I was more a ‘utility Edgar’ there. I played all over. The manager was great with me and he knew I was doing a job for him, wherever needed.
“I still found it tough, though, as I wanted to nail down one position. That is the big difference here, I have a bit of consistency.”
Edgar added: “It is knowing that if you play well, you will be selected. Not that a chance might come if the right back is injured. Then have a good game but the right back gets fit again and you are out.
“That is what I have had a lot of during my career. It is nice to have some consistency. I have always said I will play anywhere but it is nice to have one position, as that can help your performances. Locking one position down is great.”